Music > Persian Musicians > INTERVIEW WITH PIANIST SOHEIL NASSERI BY SHABNAM REZAEI
A Class Act in New York
Born in Santa Monica, California, Soheil Nasseri has always been one to go against the grain. Dropping out of high school at the age of 16 to pursue his love for music, he is today a world-class concert pianist. The 25-year-old has performed in such places as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Teatro Politeama in Sicily. Soheil has the mission of promoting classical music through his piano recitals, chamber music,and recordings.
We had a chance to conduct this interview with him earlier in the week.
PersianMirror: Tell us a little about yourself. Soheil Nasseri: My parents moved from Tehran to Los Angeles in 1977 to study science at UCLA. I was born in 1978 in Santa Monica, California. After California, I moved to the Washington DC area at the age of 10. Currently, I live in Midtown, Manhattan and in Palermo, Sicily. Within 2 years I will also maintain residences in Paris and Berlin. I think just one country/language/culture is very boring. I loved music from the earliest age. There was a piano in my day care center and I was drawn to it. I begged my parents to buy me my own piano, which they did for $400. I began weekly lessons at the age of 5.
PM: Who were some of the biggest influence of your music, past or present?
SN: My teachers, Karl Ulrich Schnabel especially. He would tell me that if I didnt do everything the composer wrote that he wanted, I would go straight to hell. Artur Schnabel is a great pianist from the past whose recordings I cherish. Alfred Brendel is my favorite living pianist. No one plays Chopin like Artur Rubinstein, and I dont play Chopin because of him.
PM: What would a big dream-come-true for you in this field?
SN: All of my underwear have holes in them. My biggest dream right now is to be able to afford 10 new pairs of underwear.
PM: Where is your favorite concert hall to play and why?
SN: Carnegie Halls Weill Recital Hall. The acoustics can’t be better,a decent piano, beautiful room, and a lot of thrilling memories from the 11 recitals I gave there.
PM: What are some of the upcoming projects or events that you have planned in the near future?
SN: Recitals in New York (March 19, 2005 at Alice Tully Hall),Washington DC, Palermo. Before 2020 (The Beethoven 250 Anniversary) I will perform the complete cycle of Beethoven works involving piano in about 30-40 concerts.
PM: Desert Island. Three things. What will you take?
SN: Mosquito net, tarp, and a big box of matches.
Photo Credit: Karen Cunningham
For more information on Soheil Nasseri, his music, and upcoming events, please visit his website at